Analysis

Russia’s shrinking submarine capability

Russia’s shrinking submarine capability

By Robert Beckhusen

In March 2017, Russia’s new Yasen-class nuclear attack submarine Kazan launched at the northern port city of Severodvinsk. Perhaps the quietest Russian submarine ever, the event was further evidence the Kremlin can still build capable and lethal subs capable of a variety of missions, including cruise-missile attack.

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An efficient US Navy for the 21st century

An efficient US Navy for the 21st century


By David Tier*

America has grown weary of the post-9/11 wars. Long, drawn-out conflicts have worn down American resolve and left many defense officials nostalgic for “the good-old days” when adversaries were easier to describe and devoted military efforts toward preparing for conventional warfare. Seizing an opportunity, the U.S. Navy has capitalized on growing disillusionment and sought to exaggerate the military challenges posed by an ascendant China for parochial benefit in terms of gaining larger budgets and greater quantities of more expensive ships.

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Is the shipping industry on the brink of a technological revolution?

TO survive and stay competitive in the current economic climate shipping companies must find innovative ways of working by embracing modern technology In a complex industry known for being conservative and slow to adapt to new technologies, are companies aware of the possibilities? Outside the industry technology is causing the biggest shake up of processes and ways of working since the industrial revolution and shipping companies are beginning to understand its potential. Global management consultants McKinsey recently highlighted: “Over the past few years, rapid technological advances in digitisation and data and analytics have been reshaping the business landscape, supercharging performance and enabling the emergence of new business innovations and new forms of competition and business disruption.”

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Let’s be clear: China would call America’s bluff in the South China Sea

Let’s be clear: China would call America’s bluff in the South China Sea

By Hugh White* It seems to be widely agreed that Washington’s current policy of well-worn talking points and low-key FONOPS in the South China Sea [SCS] isn’t working. Ely Ratner and I have been debating how to do better. Ely has proposed a more robust approach. He suggests that Washington could deter China from further provocations by warning that it would respond by encouraging and supporting the other claimants among China’s neighbours to develop, fortify and if necessary defend the islands and features which they occupy. I have argued that this would not work, because Beijing is unlikely to believe that its smaller neighbours would risk provoking it in that way, nor that America would really support them if they did. Beijing would therefore view America’s warning as a bluff, and would be seriously tempted to call it, which would leave Washington with a choice between confrontation and probable conflict,…

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Making sense of the known unknowns in South China Sea

Making sense of the known unknowns in South China Sea

By Ely Ratner* I’d like to thank Hugh White for his continued thoughtfulness and collegiality in our ongoing exchange on the South China Sea. [Professor White’s earlier article is here.] I thought it might be interesting to pivot from debating strategic dynamics in the region to a dialogue about what our divergent assessments mean for the making of US policy.

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Australia, US and NZ military co-operation augurs well

Australia, US and NZ military co-operation augurs well

By Greg Colton

LAST month a combined force from five allied nations, including a fleet of 33 warships and submarines, over 200 aircraft and more than 33,000 military personnel, defeated an ‘enemy force’ in 20 locations across northern Australia. The enemy, of course, was an imaginary one and the battle was a military exercise, Talisman Sabre 17, but its successful conclusion raises some interesting questions about future co-operation between the US, Australia and New Zealand.

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A possible scenario for the USS Fitzgerald collision

A possible scenario for the USS Fitzgerald collision

By Matthew Harper*
How could USS Fitzgerald allow itself to be hit by ACX Crystal in open water, in clear weather conditions and in relatively light traffic? I am as stunned as both experienced mariners and the average person alike and will not claim to know the answer. I hope that some mitigating factor comes to light, but I am afraid that it will be a relatively simple answer, human error.

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World naval developments July 2017

World naval developments July 2017

By Norman Friedman*

IN July the North Koreans finally launched their long-expected intercontinental ballistic missile. Instead of setting a normal long-range trajectory, they chose to loft their missiles, so that they fell fairly close to Korea – though probably not within range of recovery. Those watching had to guess how far the missiles could have flown.

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